Separating Robert the Bruce facts from the fiction

Few figures from Scotland’s history have captivated so many generations, across both Scotland and the world, as Robert The Bruce. In Stephen Spinks’ book, Robert The Bruce: Champion of a Nation, he tries to distinguish facts from the myths and legends which have grown over the centuries. Spinks creates a detailed picture of the context…

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A crime thriller that will grip you from page one

By the fifth line of Dugald Bruce-Lockhart’s debut novel, I was totally invested in the plot of The Lizard. Lulled into thinking the protagonist a relatable character – he is a student from the University of St Andrews suffering from an aching heart – Alistair Haston is a seemingly ordinary young man seeking to win…

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A look at life on St Kilda without its people

Home to a small population until 1930, Alex Boyd offers a window onto how St Kilda has remained relatively untouched since its last inhabitants left. It gives a sense of how people would have lived and what’s being done to protect the site. Isle of Rust is a visual response to Jonathan Meades’ essay (included…

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The horrors of war and the stories of two men

By using a rich collection of primary source material, author Gary Sheffield has woven a detailed picture of the lives of two men connected by both family ties and the horrors of war in In Haig’s Shadow. He shines a light on a story which has been entrenched in false truths and obscurity for many…

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Living life to the Max in Dundee – a true story

Definitely not one for the faint-hearted, A Guide to Surviving Childhood is the story of a Dundee girl, Max, and her mum, Big Max. It’s laden with hilarious, explicit and more than a few non-PC anecdotes. Being from the City of Discovery myself, this book contains so many references that I completely relate to and…

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An honest memoir of two complex relationships

In this posthumous memoir following her death in October 2019, Deborah Orr explores the deeply complex relationship she had with both her home town of Motherwell and her mother. Orr was an award-winning journalist renowned for her unapologetic and candid column writing through which she gained a loyal following across the newspapers she worked for.…

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A sporting memoir with nostalgia and warmth

I’ve been a bit of a rugby fan for years and despite not understanding 50% of the laws, the atmosphere and enthusiasm of both the crowd and the players is more than enough to keep me engaged. This book is the story of one former Scottish rugby player, Ian Smith, who describes a period when…

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A celebration of Scotland’s monuments

Many of us walk or drive past the same monuments or memorials every single day. But how much, if anything, do we really know about the people behind them? At first glance I wasn’t sure how exciting Scotland Remembered would prove to be. Meighan has put together an extensive list of the monuments and memorials…

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Poetry and photos from the Hebrides

The Spirit of the Hebrides combines poetry and photography to explore the land and seascapes of the islands in all seasons and weathers. It does this whilst paying homage to the Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean. This is a lovely book that will bring an instant sense of tranquility every time you decide to delve into…

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Another winner of a Scottish cookbook

The Lady Laird of Ballindalloch had no intention of serving up third helpings of homemade recipes with I Love Food 3, but I am thrilled she did. This instalment is packed with delectable ideas, and includes a special nod to the country’s exceptional game. As a pudding fiend, I’m taking note of her banana, orange…

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